A growing body of research suggests that men's pregnancy intentions (i.e., how men feel about apregnancy) and prenatal behaviors (i.e., how men act during the pregnancy) may have implications forfathers' later involvement with their children. For example, men who exhibit positive feelings about thepregnancies of their partners and who become involved -- such as attending childbirth classes and being present at the child's birth -- are more likely to show positive postbirth fathering behaviors. These findings are consistent with prior research demonstrating that having an unintended pregnancy and being uninvolved prior to a child's birth may signal lower quality and quantity of father involvement in the child's later life. An understanding of this issue for fathers of infants is important because the transition to fatherhood represents an ideal opportunity to draw men more actively into parenting. This Research Brief draws on data from the 9-month Resident Father Survey of the nationally representative 2001 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to present information on what men report about their pregnancy intentions and their prenatal involvement. We also examine the effects of these intentions and behaviors on men's involvement with very young children following birth. (Author abstract)
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